By Tim Redmond
The news that the ACCJC will change its rules and allow City College to stay open for two more years is grounds to celebrate – for the moment. But let’s not declare victory too soon.
The accreditors only blinked and made a simple, obvious rules change under the combined weight of the Bay Area Congressional delegation, the state superintendent, 60 community college chancellors, and pretty much every elected official and business leader in San Francisco. And City College doesn’t have its accreditation back – the same unaccountable private agency that started this whole mess will still have the school’s fate in its hands.
“The crazy people are still in control,” Community College Board member Rafael Mandelman told me. “And they will still do this to other schools.”
Mandelman said it’s important that the people who fought for this rule change and an extension for CCSF not step back and assume that all is well with the ACCJC – because it isn’t.
And there’s still the little matter of when the people we elected to run City College will get their jobs back.
The contract for the special trustee who was appointed to take full control of the school ends in July, and the state chancellor will have to decide whether to extend it for another year – or to allow the elected college board to take the school back. “There has been no work to consult with the board, no work to prepare the board to resume governance, nothing,” Mandelman said.
I think the ACCJC got the message that it can’t shut down City College, and is trying to cover its ass with this delay. But there’s no fundamental change in the agency’s operating procedures or leadership. So we won a battle – but the war is far from over.